December 26, 2010

Too Rajasic In The Hot Tub,.. and The Didgeridoo

"It's too hot, too hot, too hot ladayyyy..."  

(please listen to this song as you read.. it goes with the post)




By the time I saw a glowing green orb donut shaped thingy, I realized it was definitely time to be out of the hot tub. For real. I saw it. It was right in front of me. A neon green donut floating in front of me with electric purple trim. At first I thought it was awesome. Then, I thought I was going to pass out.

When I got into Janny and Vanny's house everything was really bright and glowing... and then I couldn't stand up without holding onto something; nausea, dizziness, fear, sweat... here we go again! It was just last saturday that all hell seemed to break loose (story is coming to Elephant Journal-promise) and now, again. Hell.

Here's one moral: Do wait AT LEAST 45 minutes before you go for a swim and if the temperature happens to be over 100 degrees wait A LOT LONGER (especially after eating all sorts of animals at the Chinese restaurant con bebidas frias {cold drinks}).

So I got a little overheated (rajasic in sanskrit) as a result of overindulgence in combination with the heat from the hot tub- I also got permission and self-imposed reasons to skip waking up at 6:30-ish a.m. this morning to get picked up for yoga at Nandi in San Mateo where I was to play didgeridoo: I had a headache going home last night around 12:45, I woke up at 3am to lucid dreams feeling not a minute rested past flopping down in my bed hours prior and woke up a few more times that night to the thought, 'I'm going to text her right now and cancel.'  


Ughh!!! Here we go, it's time to do the work right now in bed. Ok, what's it going to look likeeeeee, if I cancel

1. The thought of Giselle telling the class that I wasn't going to be showing up to play live didg' in class I'm sure wouldn't have been a big deal.. "It's no big deal."  People will say in that in the world; In fact, it's almost expected that if y'all are feelin' ill' it's ok to skip out on thing

           1a.)Not for me-not today. Got that. 

2. I didn't want to cause, or deal with knowing of their disappointment, for myself I mean, even if it was just one person. Does this make sense?

3. I would not want to deal the impact of breaking my word with Giselle, 

4. Or deal with the impact of breaking my word with myself. 

5. Even if it was all justified by, "It's no big deal"

So, I chose to take responsibility for ALL OF THAT and surmised it all with "I don't want to deal with the impact of breaking my word." -Good mantra to have at 3 a.m. with a headache after almost fainting for the first time in my life... not to mention a lot of undigested cherry pork somewheres in my intestines. I thought of Paul Turro leading The Wisdom Course and saying repeatedly that 'honoring your word is a very noble thing to do, BUT keeping your promises is the most high and holy of actions', a.k.a. karma yoga (principal of cause and effect, selfless service and action, discipline of action). I guess Paul was a yogi too?

It was kinda killin' me though- my powerful self that is. Because as much as I didn't want to skip out on playing in class, I was equally siding with wanting to sleep in and take care of my self, wake up late, blah blah blah. Duality, yeah-it's a bitch. Gotta deal. Yeah, SOOoo who cares. Or as Miles used to say, "So what."

So I woke up, made a green smoothie and tea, took em to go with Natasha (my ride and Giselle's assistant today), watched the sun kiss the tops of the fluffy white clouds looming over the hills and bay and was on my way to play didg' for the kids, even though they were adults,.. it rhymes.

And I got more super valuable lessons, ones which I wouldn't have gotten if I decided to sleep in like a shlub.

During class I kept getting nervous, as I do before I'm about to play didgeridoo for a larger sized yoga class. This one must have been an easy head-count of thirty-five. I kept thinking, my mantra for the day, "I am a yogi; I see the path but do not know the way." It guided me through and as I returned to breath, I calmed myself and was in my practice before I got the tap on my shoulder to make my way to the front of the class.

Two: What if they don't like the music? -Answer: So what. Breathe and take it a breath at a time. That's valuable when playing the didg'. As Ondrej Smeykal told me in a workshop I did last summer, 'just play to your own breath and stop caring what anyone else thinks... If you are in line with your breathing while you play, it will sound 100X better than trying to play for them.' --That worked!

So it was just another 'best day ever' in the sea of 'best day ever's' that I've ever had. Good thing I kept my word, and the test may have been the hot tub and 4 animals I ate the night before... I'm not going veg. though.

~B

December 24, 2010

Thank The Baby JESUS!

For Christs sakes.. there's so much to do! It's christmas eve.. I love how spell-checker won't let me spell christmas w/o a 'C'... really already over and out.

I live in Berkeley again. I couldn't help it! I love the east bay. Forget SF.. at least lets forget about the mission.. that place appears to be the cool scene in SF but it didn't take long for me to get up and go. 3-days. That's it. Just 3-days and I was (as Harry Kalas would say) Outta there!

And I did hit a home-run. After my 3-day stint in the mission, and a 3-day bender if I've ever had one.. (you'll get to see THAT story on Elephant Journal as I colorfully describe what it's like to be on THC and 5-HTP at the same time.. yikes, talk about a dark trip into a tree trunk--that's a Star Wars reference people!).. here's the image

So after waking up at noon (and finally, i think, falling asleep around 7am that morning) I mustered up enough strength to finish watching the Eagles/Giants game as whiskey settled me into Sunday.

I came back to the house I had just rented but hadn't paid for yet and just felt.. uneasy, I didn't want to live there anymore. I know it had only been a few days but I felt like I wasn't home, is the best way to describe it despite it being the most plush house I had been living in over the last 4-months of travel.

I woke up that Monday and got to work. Found a sweeeet sublet for a month in Berkeley (east bay), sent an email and received a phone call within the hour.

"The only catch is that I'm leaving in a few hours!" said the leas-or? (is that what they're called?)

And by 7pm that night, after me and Mr. Shechtman reunited for some coffee with the lovely Casey James, I was in my new-new pad in Berkeley enjoying a 1-bdrm with a star-laser machine in it.. Which I call now, 'The Planetarium'.  It's divine.

So I have that house until January 15th, and then it's off again.. to another home unoccupied preferably, where I will sit in peace and say, THANK THE BABY JESUS FOR THIS MIRACLE! <-- that's for you Sarah~

Merry Christmas~

B ~

December 17, 2010

The Wandering Tzu

I'm moving again... the journey continues, this time Ill be heading to SF proper! WOOT! The Mission.. that's where I'll be. Staying in a super nice apt. off 24th street. I will be there for at least 29 days. My new roommate is a defense trial lawyer for an insurance company, and a dedicated Burner.. (that's Burning Man, btw.. )

In the past week my wanderings have taken me all around the east bay.. that's on the other side of SF, btw.. Oakland, Berkeley exist here and it's so nice.. The weather is a constant 58 degrees, not bad for Decemeber, and Lake Merritt is super sweet. Its a GIANT lake in Oakland.

As I was looking for directions at a bus stop I met a few guys rollin' a good time and by the time I left the bus stop on my way to the Lake to look for the yoga studio I was going to visit, I was floating and for the first time really seeing my new home. The lake looked like New York City! People walking at different speeds around the lake, houses sitting right on top of the shore-line, or so it seemed... Just really peaceful vibes.

I fell in love. It's like the Shire... in my mind, and my heart.

So anyway, this also is the same week that I have been reading the Tao Te Ching.. Really great book by Lao Tzu layin' down the laws of life. Lao Tzu was a wanderer.. He's the guy who said, "the journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step." Really great stuff.. I recommend, it's been rearranging my molecules. Today I was on the BART heading to the city for work and this woman with green highlights came and sat down next to me... She started talking right away about the Tao Te Ching.

I was a bit introverted and felt like listening to music and staring out the window but amused my new friend anyway. "I'm a performance artist, clown and mask something or other...." Then she started telling me that she could interpret my handwriting. I was interested. Turning off my ipod while listening to Ondrej Smeykal, a great didgeridoo player and let Ruby, my new friend entertain me. She then proceeded to interpret my handwriting after I wrote a few sentences down for her. "You've really broken out of the box" she said,... "No one has ever turned the paper on its side and written something for me." Then she said something about me being slightly moody, artistic and some more stuff.. I can't remember right now. I'm tired and am actually writing this AFTER i've already finished the entire post...

Let's see what else.. I'm tired right now.. *yawn*.. I'm heading to bedski.  Oh, alright, before bed, a random page I will turn to in the Tao Te Ching.. for your pleasure..

"The Master arrives without leaving,
sees the light without looking,
achieves without doing a thing."

Ok, goodnight!

December 07, 2010

Playing w/ and Transforming Worry.

Play with worry? I was meditating the other day and all of a sudden saw that being worried is really a GIANT opportunity to transform yourself. 

Check this out.. Every moment is an opportunity to shift our context from being in a state of worry to being in action for what is possible.  

To not be too serious and significant about this.. you will have to play with worry.
      • Play with worry? Playing with worry is being worried AND seeing the underlying opportunity that worry can provide. For example; If I am worried about going to a party b/c someone is there that I am afraid of seeing (for whatever reason), you can look at the underlying opportunity which would be to confront your fear and transform your outlook by having a conversation with that person. The result (*if done correctly); You are now free and happy, or at least off of focusing on that one initial worry. 
      • *note-the conversation you have will have to be geared at 'outing' yourself so to speak.. being authentic about why I was nervous to see this person. I am communicating in a way that is generous and doesn't 'dump' emotions and words onto someone else.
Here are some other words I wrote down about this,... Maybe I'll speak more about it? What do you think? I'd like to know.

Worrying is stagnent energy based in fear.

When we worry, remember, it is always to confront our fear and be the powerful people we are.

Being worried will bump up against what you really want, or what you are committed to. You will have to move past this to overcome worry. All else will be numbing yourself, which blocks your own self expression.

Staying worried costs your own expression in the world from coming through. 

On the flip side, you will get something by staying worried. You will get to be right when what you really want- you won't allow yourself to have, all b/c you are worried about it.

Worrying is praying for what we don't want, What do you want?

Worrying is actively resisting dealing with the problem.

We we worry, we place a block on the universal energy that is always available to us, who's purpose is to guide us through.

Worrying is the result of being wounded as a child. When you worry you are really reliving the pain of being hurt from your past.

When you worry, you don't see your underlying commitment. It's b/c you are committed to something greater in this situation. Look and see what you are committed to, really.

Avoidance is a symptom of worrying that prevents you from being powerful and opening your heart.

The more you worry and avoid, the smaller you become in the world.

The act of being with worry, noticing it and moving through it-is yoga.

~B




December 03, 2010

I will be taking my talents to.....

This past summer the world awaited LeBron James' decision on where he would be playing basketball for the 2010/2011 season. Tensions built, people and fans anxiously awaited, the city of Cleveland and the state of Ohio clenched their jaws in anticipation that LeBron would stay in Cleveland. He didn't.

Cleveland fans dealing with the pain
"I have decided to take my talents to South Beach" -his words uttered on national television, a huge spectacle was made out of the event and Cleveland burned James jerseys in effigy.

I will be taking my talents to the SF. Not nearly as an anticipated as LeBron James 2010/11 decision, maybe a bit ego-centric, but hey! I'm human, and in my own world.  I will be staying in the bay area and am looking into moving to San Fran and leaving the east bay... I will re-evaluate in mid January.. I'm happy I at least made a commitment for a few months.

So there you have it. Will #34 55lb.-Northampton Indians jerseys be burned back in PA? We shall see...

~B

December 01, 2010

The Wake Up Call

Waking up at 5:55am again tomorrow.... I'm officially hustling and officially (self realization here) in the rat race. My last week of unemployment, I have no home and no full time job... just a few part time jobs that im stacking together to make ends meet...

Today I woke up at 5:55 as well.. I was at the BART (bay area rapid transit--think nyc subway but WAY more expensive) to meet Jessica, founder of getaround.com a local bay area car sharing service co. where car owners can rent their cars out and set prices for local renters (organically placed plug).

Man goes to California, goes broke, wanders from place to place sleeping on couches, floors, cabins, futons, works whatever jobs he finds on craigslist and occasionally busks in metro stations playing long wooden instruments that come from deserts half-way around the world.

Now I'm not making any of this wrong - nor am I blaming myself for the positions I have rightfully earned. I am poking light at the fact that I am stuck in California and couldn't leave to go back home even if I wanted to.. which I do-from time-to-time.  It's just ironic that I spent all summer making myself believe that California had the answers to my problems AND I thought I would for sure be able to do whatever I wanted OR AT LEAST what I was saying I wanted to do whilst in New York/New Jersey--which was...

"I'm gonna go out there and get a job, find a place to live and see if I want to be in the bay or LA... you know, just live and blah blah blah." As my friend Sarah would say, 'welcome to crazy town'... btw, I'm now the mayor of crazy town, usa, aka-California. Why you may ask?

Because I didn't have a CLUE what I was in for. If I knew that this was going to be shaping up to be the fight of my life I probably would have come up with some other grand idea.. and actually.. now that I think about it, would wind-up in the same place I'm in now, only someplace else.

I am really having to teach myself discipline here. Saving my money--ech-chem.. excuse me, I meant NOT spending my money on dance, cookies, juice, or whatever; breaking free from the expectation that the world will provide all I need and ask for as I comfortably sit in the grass, sun beating on my face in half-lotus position... no, this is not the time for that. I would like it to be.. but it's not. It's time to get to work.. and I have to work and I have to make ends meet in as many creative ways possible-right now.

(right now its sleeping in my friend Olivia's room who I met at dance camp while her mom is sleeping in the room next door b/c after 3-months couch surfing I can't afford rent... it's passing out flyers at 7am for cash in hand after my shift so I dont have to use my debit card.. it's ordering Thai food and splitting it up in two portions so I dont spend money on food the next day--its all of that) -much love/respect to the Obidah's, btw.

This 'trip' is also about looking at myself in new ways. Looking NOW to see how I impacted people when I wasn't noticing how I was being ungrateful and expecting, full of myself, arrogant.. This is the feedback I've been getting and it's been EYE-OPENING!

Only when ya travel do ya get this.. or when you wander? When I wander this is what I get.. a dose of medicine aimed at having me having to deal with how I am showing up for the world and let me just tell you I am so committed to transforming this IT HURTS! So, like I was saying, I'm stuck here in California. When I return to the east coast, whenever that is, I will not be in the same everything place I was when I came out here. I will return with honor and pride.

This is my lesson, and the test is called California. Now I gotta go to bed, I'm waking up in 6 hours to pass out flyers. And before I go I want to mention a few more things.

a.) I shaved my beard after a dream that I shaved my beard. To me this is a sign of coming out of hiding.

b.) After realizing that I have been being stingy and selfish with my recent housemates.. like ReALLY GETTING THIS IN MY BONES that I have been showing up like this all the while thinking otherwise--I can now see the possibility arising in the shadows.. And it's called being grateful and abundant for what I do have.

I have two amazing jobs. In one I get to greet San Franciscans each morning now and wish them all 'Good Morning' as I pass out a great new car sharing service.  Let me say if you wished your city or town good morning at least 300 times to their face, you would feel ecstatic. The other is with this incredible Jewish non profit that teaches resistance training and how to stand up to fight the good fight after learning about the Jewish guerrilla fighters who lived in the woods during WWII.

And it's all starting to shift; my context, my reality, my being, my face! This really is it. I'm living my life and it's only going to get better.

Wandering on...

~B

November 27, 2010

Flake it til you make it?

I don't know where I'm going to live tomorrow. I don't think I really want to stay in the bay area.

California? Who really cares about it anyway..

Is it a pipe-dream? Am I-- was I California dreaming,

Why am I thinking of Thailand now?

Am I running,...or doing exactly what needs to be done for myself right now., where I'm going to live

What I'm going to do!!?

Well,.. I don't know yet.. I do know, at least right now--I'm a wanderer.

And while I am procrastinating to blog Wandering; The Path of Expansion (pt.2)... I thought I would put up this quote by Jeff Brown... someone I don't even know but caught wind of through a friend... This made me feel better.

"It is important to grant ourselves permission to wander as part of our Soulshaping journey. So often mischaracterized aslostness, there is a kind of immersion in the not knowing that is actually quite focused & necessary if we are going to excavate and identify our divine purpose. So much information can come up when we are looking in no particular direction. A sense of wander, Flake it till you make it.." 


Thanks for that.


~B

November 21, 2010

Housewarming In Oakland

Last night we had a housewarming in the house I'm temporarily living in... There were some other musicians who came and at one point the convergence happened.

Harmonica, guitar, drum, flute and myself on the didg'... We played-people sat and listened, and I realized the power of music.. Again.

Afterwards Yuki said to me that being able to play the didg' is a rights of passage--a coming of age instrument.  Those who can play it, in this case myself... are sent a message that we are ready to step-up in the world...

I really got that.. The didgeridoo is an instrument that I continually give thanks to for being able to play... It is so powerful that sometimes I have to LITERALLY stop playing it b/c its just too much for me.

Then I new that I am supposed to keep playing this instrument. We'll see where it takes me.

~B

November 17, 2010

Intermission Enjoyment

Before 'Wandering, the path towards expansion (pt.2)' comes through here.. I thought I would post a video from my new york city subway concerto days, waaaay back in the summer of 2010...

Someone was just asking to see this SO, I am going to post.

It's the spirit of my wandering, really. For me, to go OUT in the New York City Subway system with all my didg' gear...
  1. Tapestry to sit on
  2. Crystals to display
  3. bamboo bowl for donations
  4. Casio keyboard 
  5. Egg Shaker
... and plop down

    6.  Oh yeah, and my didgeridoos

... and plop down to play in the middle of the platform.. well, for me. That took some cajones (aka, balls).  Then my box expands. See how that works? No!? Ok, then have a look see.. I'm so happy!

Didg'in da' subway from brandon waloff on Vimeo.
This is my second time out in the NYC subway system (broadway/lafayette) playing the didgeridoo. I have here, a mini casio keyboard accompanying me. While I did get circular breathing down, it was difficult to do while playing the keys. No matter, enjoy~

~B

November 15, 2010

Wandering; The Path Towards Expansion (pt.1)

I'm going to take out a snip-it of my manifesto and delve deeper into what it looks like to wander, and why wandering is a pathway to expand your capacity to fully understand your life and connect with others (well, that's actually going to come next time--this is pt.1).

Before we look at my own created inquiry of 'wandering', let's look at what 'wandering' has meant to many in the past (meaning before RIGHT NOW!) and will never be on this blog.
  • To wander, in the sense of the word, is just to stroll around, carefree, aloof and gay. To move about. As some online dictionaries will note (Merriam); 'wandering is similar to strolling around without a fixed course... but later says "to follow a winding course"  Huh. Soo,... does this contradict?  It also says wandering is "going astray morally." Now we're starting to dig... Morally? I'm confused. Leave it to stiff, up-tight English, wanna be noblemen to fuck us over here.
If you're lost you're in good company. Wandering has always meant in the world of agreement to just flail around, daydream, get lost, be aloof, etc... However I am not 100% in disagreement (we're also going to see why the world of agreement really makes no sense,.. next time, next time). 

I think all of this above IS the precursor to an effective wander, what it lacks, HOWEVER.. is a powerful context. So now, let's take a look at what I think 'wandering' is to be with the added umph and intention to expanding who you are,.. got it!? K...
  • Wandering, here- is the act of moving outside of your ‘self prescribed box
    • We are all in a box, so without getting too heady about this now, let's just say that wandering is partly getting lost and feeling all gay-like while you have no intention at all for going anywhere. That, I kinda like.  BUT, like I pointed to earlier,... we need some context. 
    • If you are in everyday comfort-mode--- and aren't challenged by life-you're in a box. And nothing is wrong with that... (Actually, we are always in a box, even when there is expansion a new box is created). So, there is nothing wrong with staying in your box- it just doesn't provide anymore added insight into your life that you may receive through wandering- or continuing to move through the box- or being at your edge…that being said… 
  • Wandering; is being at your edge
    • Being at your edge is feeling risk and adventure. It's doing things you normally don't do. That is important. You don’t have to leave ‘home’ and venture across the globe to wander, you can do it right where you are now,.. I mean, you're always right here, so ya know.. who cares about going somewhere else. "Wherever you go, there you are." -thanks Chevy...and another one... 
  • To Wander is also to look within
    • 'The act of walking, or leaving your home {home is described as your place of comfort} with no intention of getting anywhere AND being willing and open to learning about yourself along the way as you get lost! In fact, wandering is the act of getting lost, lost in yourself… or just plain lost (there will be more on this to come as well).

Now that this has been covered, the question arises-why even care to do this at all?  I promise to delve deeper next post.. 


This was all inspired by the sentence, "all of us are explorers wandering, and we should all be looking into ourselves in order to expand our capacity to love and understand ourselves and others"  in my 'what this blog is about' section.. now entitled, 'The Wanderers Manifesto'


~B

November 14, 2010

We're Switchin' It Up~

My Parents would be proud; I'm doing something with my Judaism--wandering.

I'm not a hedge fund manager, a lawyer, or even a... he-he..or that, someone else filled those shoes. I'm a real, bona fide wandering jew- I may be green, but I'm surely not the plant variety of  the 'Jew that wanders'. No. I'm me, Brandon, Tuvia Simcha, a man on this earth walking around, playing my didgeridoo, practicing being conscious through yoga, dance and movement, meditation and communication,... Looking into and 
e x p l o r i n g ...swimming around with and playing...

juggling the stuff, all the stuff and nothing but the STUFF...

So why did I choose to do this?

A yoga blog was too small for the content I wanted to write about. While I do enjoy being in my practice and experiencing the benefits that a yoga practice gives me, it was just getting a bit boring talking about yoga. Plus, Hello!! I'm over here in California wandering around looking for work, a home, and really noticing that without purpose to why I came out here, life is totally aimless. But not so aimless that it can't be appreciated and learned from. So, I have come to realize that I am a wanderer, and quite enjoy just the process of being IN my wandering.

I think there is a message to send and that people can take the time to explore in life, wander and get lost in themselves, I mean, if you never set foot outside of your own environment how could you really know who you are, or what you're made of, or even more important.. what you're dreams are. You could argue that we become a social construct, thinking we are in control and know who we are, but how can you be so sure. "The unexamined life is a life not worth living." Socrates said that...

So please, please.. sit back and relax, for a minute, while we say, 'pardon our appearance' and completely switch up the context of this blog. Context is the container for which the following content will appear, and without proper context -the message cannot be sent. The Context IS decisive. What's your context?

I invite you to read over the draft of my manifesto, or, as you will find it -- the 'what this blog is about' sidebar section to find my own mission statement for creating the switch-up of this blog.

~B

November 13, 2010

21 In The Hole

Ive been in California for 21 days now! I thought I would play around with this A BIT and highlight some of my experiences throughout all the mishugas that has been my life OFF THE MAT! 
I was hoping for Dhanurasana (bow pose) for the 21st of the 26 Bikram poses to choose, which would be fitting since this blog is, in fact, entitled slow-down-YOUR-asana (Yes, that is why the name of this blog is a yogic variation of sorts on Dhanurasana [pronounced-'dahn-yur-ahs-ahna], b/c it's funny. Get it). 

And that's not even the point I am intending to make here, and neither is Bikram Yoga, which I don't even practice anymore, I was messin with the number 21. 

So, back to it. I have been journeying throughout the land of California for 21 days now. From Berkeley in the bay-- to LA, and tomorrow back up north. In that time I have,

  • Lived, practiced and worked at a buddhist collective in Berekeley
  • Went to the top of a mountain to possibly live with a young, budding kirtan master
  • Eaten lots of roasted duck soup in the aka 'asian ghetto' of Telegraph
  • Practiced Anusara at Kula Yoga
  • Been moving my body and studying my energy and motion as lab, Ecstatic Dance-SF bay
  • Danced for a photographer who shoots energy and motion
  • AND, danced for a filmaker dancer- who films dancers- in a West Oakland skate park
  • Watched the Phillies (fuck!) at Jake's Steak House in SF, a local phillies/eagles nestablishment.
  • Participated in Dia De Los Muertos or Day of The Dead in SF
  • Eaten at Cafe Gratitude, 3 times
  • Worked with The Jewish Partisans Education Fund, non-profit in SF
  • Rode to Los Angeles through Craigslist rideshare
  • Blogged for Leaders Causing Leaders Conference in Long Beach
  • Slept in Marina Del Rey, Venice, Oakland and Berkeley thus far
  • Have been selling Vila Acupressure mats, almost placed in The Sports Basement, come oN!
  • Was hired to sell Kulae yoga mats and apparel by the company, excited!
I'll cap it there and head to bed now.. so much is going on around me and inside me these days.. It's really all about the journey. 

~B

November 08, 2010

It's late BUT...

I really have to say that I like driving in Los Angeles despite popular opinion.. when there isn't traffic. When it flows it flows, feels like a gentle stream guiding me along the inter-stellar arterial.

That and the FM radio here is surprisingly good.

And that is all for now.

Oh, one more thing. I think my dreams are sometimes chaotic in nature with lots of people around me having random conversations b/c I don't manage my conversations in my waking state. Today when I was talking to someone and wasn't really interested in talking, it felt like one of those chaotic dreams. That was a pretty big insight.

Ok, now I'm going to bed! Speaking of dreams....

B~

November 07, 2010

Leaders Causing Leaders

If you really knew me, you would know that I love connecting with people. If you really knew me you would know that dancing probably makes me happier then anything else in the world. And, if you really knew me you would know that when there is no energy in an event, there is no energy present in me!

People from all over LA and beyond (I met a philly resident) are coming in less than droves to the Long Beach Convention Center for the 1st ever Leaders Causing Leaders conference. Where were all the people?

Sure, there were heaps of empties sans fannies in the main auditorium, something that any speaker would notice and perhaps feel disempowered by? As a former Introduction Leader with Landmark Education I would get a little rubbed when there were a few empty seats to the rooms I was leading. However, maybe I should learn a thing or two from these seasoned speakers and leaders.

No one who I witnessed speaking was phased by the lack of attendance. I think the conference was expecting over 2,000 participants to the actual 200 or so that showed up on Saturday, the first of the two day event.

Let's just get the pink elephant out of the way and move on, shall we. Check.

When all that was going on for me The Dutra St. John's came to the stage and floored me for my first blogging assignment. The creators of Challenge Day, a high school program designed to rip students out of their self created boxes took me for surprise when Rich and Yvonne didn't just talk about their work with us at the conference, they did the work with us. I wasn't ready and I didn't want to either.

First thing on Saturday morning I had to find a partner. Ughh.. Bring back my Landmark Education days why don't we, speak of the devil. I noticed I could either resist and have my attitude about the conference or give that up and do what they wanted, aka-being in their world. Up until that point I was a cynic. Nobody was there, the sound was bad and the lighting worse. I chose to shift my context and get in the conference and their exercise. After all we were all going to be with each other for the next two days.

The St. John's were ready to play. Really ready to play. Like, full on ready to go and they weren't gonna cater to our lethargy. A few exercises later of "If you really knew me" with our partners and a few token Oprah clips of their work in action had everyone in tears.

I left open, free and connected to not only my partner, but the conference as a whole. I zigged, zagged and buzzed through the hall meeting people and connecting, something that I do best.

Three cheers to the Dutra St. John's for their work and their commitment in the world.

~B

November 04, 2010

Letting Myself Unwind

Today in meditation I didn't care to stop the thoughts from pouring in. I just let 'em flow. Usually, I will work on listening to my breath and focusing on counting and that gets me to that clear space of nothing that is oh-so-zen. But today, nahh. Today I chose not to.

I think there's a lesson in this too. Have you ever tried to meditate? I'm not even sure what this means. I hear people say they try to meditate all the time but can't b/c 'there's too much chatter' so they give up. Ughh. More backward western thinking? Maybe. But let's stay clear of opening that can of worms for now and focus on meditation.

It's just being with your thoughts. There's nowhere to get to. I think many of us quit b/c we expect meditation to 'look a certain way'. That when people do it there's going to be this amazingly clear and profound space that will erase all karmic debts in their life and everything will change-PRESTO! And when it's not they can't understand why all their shit keeps coming up. So, rather than stick with it, many people avoid those thoughts and all 'their stuff' and turn it in. It's very important (I've been noticing) to have blank spaces in my day. And I'm no expert either; I'll hang out 3 hours online before bed with the best of 'em to avoid just simply being with myself.

Back to today; that was just a hick-up of opinionation on my behalf. Let's talk about our thoughts and what I noticed.

So today I chose not to try and keep a blank space. Instead, I chose the opposite. I chose to let my mind go and wander and daydream and go off on everything that came up. I thought about baseball and I let it rip; the next thing I found myself doing was being a Baseball Tonight analyst explaining why even the stellar Phillies starting rotation was beatable had rough patches against the Giants which coalesced hits when they needed to. I was talking in my mind like John Kruk and Bobby Valentine when examining teams and outcomes. I was there, in studio and I had a job!

This was all during a 6am time slot that found Asher leading a MahaSiddha Dharma Buddhist guided meditation. I wasn't even paying attention. And I really didn't care. It's what was there for me. I am learning to not be so hard on myself anymore in life, just going with what's there for me, with what's coming up. I guess you can call this compassion. Deep.

What I want to share is that after all the baseball analysis and thinking about going to Los Angeles tomorrow, I got tired of thinking. I gave up. Or actually, it gave up. My mind did. It stopped thinking and for the last 45 seconds of the hour or so that I was in the practice room, I had peace of mind. Not bad for not even trying, huh?

So this is the lesson that I learned that I can see in my life right now. I am lettin' it all unwind, uncoil and release, without judgement. I am following my own true nature, and am not trying to fit inside of or become like others want me to. That shit feels good!

B~

October 21, 2010

I've Got Nothing, What A Great Thing!

I am now in California. I just moved here and today is the start of my second day. What the F*ck!? I MOVED TO CALIFORNIA!!? And now that I am here, what the hell am I gonna do!?!  I mean, here I am, right now sitting here in my one-room cabin the the backyard of a Buddhist share house and I'm like, 'now what!?'

Ok, B, just breathe... be cool,
                                                       relax
                                                                    chill out.
                                                        (sounds coming out of mouth, a release)


As I watched myself go through feelings of loneliness and isolation this morning, the beginnings of panic. I couldn't help but begin to consider what the nuggets of wisdom could be in all of this? Sure, I just moved here with 2 backpacks and a couple didgeridoos while all my belongings are still in storage in Jersey City. That to me is grounds for a minor freak-out. But really, why freak out? How many times have I heard that we have everything we need already (meaning inside of us, that's non-material); And besides hearing it, I have actually experienced having everything I needed in my past when I've been in this situation. Now clearly, according to the mainstream world, I don't have the things to make me whole and complete. I don't have a job, a place to live, much money, transport, furniture or a decent cell phone, just to name a few. But these aren't luxury items, these are all standards, things we take for granted (with the exception of a good android app-filled celly, obviously). But Forget about a smart phone or a new car. I'm dealing with standards here. So, yes, it makes sense to freak-out and get all uptight. However, I don't have to choose that reaction, it would just make me crazy. And my point-of-view is that if I can master myself with nothing, now, then when I am set up with all the specs in life, I'll be happy no matter what.

So now what? How do we master that? How do we become happy with what we have inside, sans material objects. I was writing this morning, a practice worth taking on when you need a friend. Here's what I wrote down.

 "When there is stillness, the body and mind can begin to wake up and get loud! The loudness sometimes hurts. It's important to stay grounded. How do we do this? Through breath and continuously breathing. Then focusing on moving the energy forward towards your intentions and following through on on that. I have to disallow the pain and stickiness from becoming stronger. Just like the body; if you don't move it and stretch it everyday, you'll get tighter. Or in this case, narrower in the sense of the mind with less room to work with, causing a mental straight-jacket. The pattern of physically not moving will become stronger too; the fascia will lay down more tissue to hold the structure in that restricted place. So it may be uncomfortable to move forward in life, just as it is in moving into a new pose at first, but we have to in order to progress and live the vision we once saw."

So after writing and breathing, and seeing all of that which I wrote above, I can see that it is uncomfortable to be where I'm at right now, but so what? The point of this experience is to transcend and not allow myself to become tight, I don't want to pull a muscle, strain or sprain anything, mind and life included. I want to move gracefully through this moment where I am at. It's the only choice I'm giving myself. For me, how to do this is just by breathing and being, breathing and being and more breathing and being with myself. I will continue my practice of yoga, I have no choice in that matter-says me. Then choosing to move forward from a place of calm. This is where radical acceptance reigns supreme. AHhhhhh.. It's acceptance of self I've been dealing with all along. So, I guess it's not so bad to have nothing. Could be worse, right? I could be holding my breath, god forbid!

B~

September 07, 2010

To Practice.

Whoever said practice makes perfect was on the right path. Practice brings us closer to our intention of what we want, and that is good. However, practice will never get us to perfection, only towards the space of being whole and complete in our practice and life. It will however, bring us into the space of happiness.

"Practice, you wanna talk about practice?!"
Allen Iverson reacting to the infamous 'why practice'
press conference, back in the day.
Speaking of practicing, my yoga practice has waned over the last 6 months. Funny too since I went away to deepen my practice and learn a new form of yoga which I have been posting about. Although YogAlign was great, it also veered me off course. Actually, nothing can veer me off course, so I want to say 'threw' me off course. But you know what? Nothing can throw me off course either if it's all the same path we are on. So, now I want to say everything happened as it should have. Moving on...

YogAlign taught me a lot, I loved being on Kauai too. The yoga I learned was very different than the yoga I have been practicing over the last 7 years. I thought my training was going to forever change the way I practiced again. I also thought it was going to change it in the sense that I couldn't go back to practicing the way I used to.  I remember having the thought that I may never be able to practice the yoga I grew into learning b/c every asana wasn't always in perfect alignment, which was the style I was learning, and being in the best alignment was the only way I thought I could practice again.

I was right on one hand. My training did forever change the way I come onto the mat and practice asana. I find myself way more aware of how I am using my body and breath while practicing, not always just doing asana but bringing being to my practice.  I also can go back to practicing styles of yoga that I grew with in the past.  I am letting go of which way is the right way and which way is the perfect way to practice. As long as I am practicing yoga, all is well.

"Practice, and all is coming."
I see that practicing is just practicing. There are many forms of practice and practice will always lead you further down your path. As I type this now, embodying Osho and channeling him as I do at times; (my impersonation now), 'With no practice you will be standing still on the path, looking at the flowers and talking a lot. But it won't occur to others as wisdom, it will just seem arrogant, and you will mock where you never went further along the path, you will not smell the flowers or hear the birds singing.'  Those who practice, in my mind at least right now, are ones who are in the inquiry of learning, they are involved in it. The bigger 'it', and are likely to not always be bragging or talking about themselves, others or the practice in a selfish manor. They are in a spiritual context, humble, learning, open, unable to judge so much. When one is on the path but no longer practicing, the ego can take a larger piece of the pie and act all-mighty, describing the 'way it is', unless they are humble enough to admit they are no longer practicing.

To be talking about your practice w/o practicing is, as Michael Franti says on rapping, "to be rhyming without a real reason, is to claim but not to practice a religion." Practice is less talk and more action. More self and less ego. The late Sri Pattabhi Jois, founder of Ashtanga Yoga says, "Practice, and all is coming." This statement is golden.

So what I want to share is that I am practicing again. I am practicing and slowly allowing my practice to lead me to what is next for me in my larger 'practice'.  I am incorporating the different styles and aspects of yoga and creating the intention to go deeper down my path.

Today I practiced a Kundalini Kriya on the beach with breathwork. All roads lead west... or east, or wherever, it doesn't matter where they lead, really.

B~

August 12, 2010

Divine Recognition; Gods and Goddesses Unite

yogic man or yogic god?
 "Hey man,.. YO, you are such a divine god! I was talking tonight about the use of the word 'goddess' in our yogic world and how women will sometimes refer to themselves and each other as 'goddesses'.  It's always been nice to hear this. To see a woman displaying her natural, feminine essence, radiating love and sensuality in subtle and intricate ways for the world to be witness too in mysterious moments. On the other hand my curiosity speaks; What's up with that?

 It got me thinking. Why haven't I referred to my buddy Drew who practices yoga as a god? How come men aren't recognizing each other in their divinity and saying, "wow, what a god." What started out as as just a joke is now turning into an inquiry.

Sexism, gender stereotyping, post-feminist revolution and divine recognition comes to mind. Is it some kind of feminist revolutionary language women will say to empower themselves with?  Or, is it just divine recognition of each others' truest qualities coming forth through language and being that women are comfortable with in showing and recognizing in each other?  What is the dark, shadow side of this? Is there one? Is it a way of demonstrating a gender power shift? What if a man referred to another man as a god? Would that be too sexist or macho for women? Or would it be too radical for how men are supposed to act towards each other in our aging Piscean world. Hmmm...This is getting interesting.

In any case, I still find the whole sociological breakdown funny. We've all gone through this life together, from the beginning-man and woman have walked the earth side-by-side, have we forgotten this? I wonder if sometimes we have and think that maybe we really are from different planets. Even Venus and Mars in Roman mythology speaks to our differences, it's not just a book.

Mars being the god of war who was married to Bellona but had a lover in Venus. War is synonymous with destruction and in todays current, brutality, selfishness, greed, capitalism and in mythological terminology-deceit and even adultery, the savages! It's easy to blend the connotation of man/god/Mars together and drop it in a not-so-friendly box of stereotypes. Venus on the other hand represents love, beauty and fertility. Today women celebrate and are celebrated for their ability to procreate and shine out in the world, at least in the West. But it's funny how we as men don't refer to each other as gods. Could it be b/c we are still enacting a 'boy psychology' as authors Moore and Gillette coin in their book, 'King, Warrior, Magician, Lover?'  In this case why would we want to be referred to each other as god's when we are clearly acting like mortal boys.  So, yeah, whew.  Us men being called god's.  And I'm not even pushing for it to happen.  But to hear it out there in the world, well that would just be weird, wouldn't it?  'Yo man.. Drew, he is such a god, so powerful and handsome!' Never happens. Maybe cool or smart or something?

But who am I to be the world's authority on divine recognition? Maybe men do call each other god's? Maybe in remote places around the world like some Polynesian islands or California men are cultivating a new way of referring to themselves and each other in the transformed dialect of 'God'? I mean why not? Women are goddesses, right? Wouldn't that by default equate a man to be a god? Actually, now that I am writing this I remember my friend Patrick, who lives in Burlington, VT. Patrick has a section of his house where prayer, yoga and meditation take place. That room is called the 'GGIT.' An acronym for 'God's and Goddesses In Training.'

Ahhh, I see now. As long as it's an all-inclusive affair for Zeus's and Hera's we're kosher. It's been an imbalance of power all along! The goddesses need the gods, and the god's need the goddesses! It's a call to action for men all over to become more godly and step into their natural essence themselves! Right? Women have been referring to themselves as goddesses b/c they secretly want their male counterparts to step up and do the same so they can too be recognized by men as such and so that men can become the idyllic personification the women are so longing for,... yeah?


Is this what divine godliness looks like?
Men have for years played out the terms; cool, hip, trendy, manly, smart and handy with each other. 2012 is upon us! We are reading David Deida! We are becoming (or supposed to becoming) more collectively conscious! So, isn't it time as we further dredge into the age of Aquarius we- as mature and masculine leaders, fathers and husbands, maybe even boyfriends and single guys refer to each other as gods? Or would that just be pushing the envelope a little too much?



B~

August 04, 2010

AUgust.

It's August.. for me this is the end of the year. September has always been a new beginning for me as it used to be the time to go back to school and is the Jewish new year. It also feels like a new beginning. The summer is winding down as the season changes into autumn and it is a time of creative and new beginnings, much more-so then January, right?

This month is a crucial month for me. I am subletting my apt. and possibly moving out for the first time in 2 years. I love living with the Bright Street Boys in Jersey City. More importantly this is a time for me where I am looking to root down and start something special. I just don't know where this is yet.

I will make a voyage out to California and places between later in the month and see just where I want to create in this dream. It really is just a dream, you know. We are on one giant dream-board, dreaming together a collective dream that we are calling life.

So, we shall see? I will be out on the west coast soon and I am still completely open to coming back east and living in this area. But for now, I dream.

B~

July 18, 2010

Didg' and Kula Flow w/ Stephanie Sandleben

A few weeks ago I wrote a poem about my first experience playing the didgeridoo at Matt's (Satyavira) yoga class at Jivamukti. It was powerful and heart opening, enlightening and a great service to others. Last week I was in Williamsburg taking Stephanie Sandleben's class at Go Yoga as her guest b/c next week I will be playing at her 11am Kula Flow class on Saturday the 24th.

Last weeks class was special, not just b/c Stephanie is an amazing teacher, but also b/c she brought in 2 crystal bowl players (click here to find out what that means) to finish up class in restorative postures. WOW. This was truly a gift. The undulating vibrations of pure sound rolled in waves across my body as I was magically transported away to other worlds of possibility. I foresaw my future and became inspired by all the creative ideas I have. The next few hours I floated around Brooklyn, no cares in the world, feeling blissed out and happy.

So last night I played a party called, Get Your Dance On at Yogaworks in SoHo. 3 rooms filled with fun, Dj upstairs, live percussion dancing and didgeridoo mediation rooms downstairs. I have been lucky enough and grateful to play with AJ Block, founder of The Didg' Project here in New York City. I have also in the last few weeks played for individuals who wanted sound healing and have incorporated didgeridoo into my yoga sessions. They have always gotten up refreshed and bedazzled in some sense and throughout this time I had yet to experience the power of receiving the sound vibrations of the didgeridoo.  Until last night. Gosh, I was going to just write about class next week and it's turning into a book, like it always does. No matter. Ok, as I was saying, last night I played some for the people but also felt like laying around and receiving the didgeridoo. WOW again. So powerful. I left ready to fall asleep wherever I was and had to carry my bones back to Jersey which isn't always an easy transition on the weekends coming from the city.

Nevermind that, what was enlightening was how excited I was knowing that people are really receiving deep healing when the didgeridoo or crystal bowls or any sound healing instrument is being played.

That being said, I think you should REALLY come out this Saturday the 24th to Stephanie's and myself''s class at Kula Yoga, 11am. Link provided, get yourself blissed out.

B~

July 04, 2010

A Poem Of Independence

Grateful and Happy,
Vedic Chanting,
Asana Praciticing,
Flow Happening,
Nerves Building,

Heart Pounding,
Self Doubting,
Sweat Dripping,
Heart Beating
Breath Shortening,
Self Doubting,
Breath Deepening
Body Connecting,
Feeling Feeling,
Staying with Feeling

Self  Remembering,
Brandon Believing,
Heart Opening,
Self Remembering,
Opportunity Coming,
Chest Expanding,


(time to play)

Mountain Standing,
Body Transitioning,
Humbly Sitting,

Didg' Playing,
They're Shoulder Standing,
Room Entrancing,
Sivasana Relaxing,
Trance Happening.
Namaste~

July 03, 2010

Didg'in in Jivamukti

Tomorrow I am invited to play the didgeridoo for Matt's yoga class at Jivamukti. I've never been to Jiva and am so excited and honored to step in and help create the space and play the healing music of the didgeridoo. Although, I am a little nervous b/c if I slip up, which I just might, how is that going to affect the class? Will people come out of their flow by this distraction? Will they get annoyed if I keep doing it? Maybe they won't mind?

I know if I can keep a steady flow the whole class it's going to be kick ass.

I'll report afterwards.

B~

June 24, 2010

I-anger (Iyengar)

That's another term for Iyengar, an alignment based yoga method taught by the renowned, late, Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois. I went to Yogaworks last night for a class and while it was amazing to be there with all the state of the art, posh-bling features that the studio possesses. I couldn't quite move past my own judgement.

Ok, ok, whoah.. hold the phones here. But Brandon, YOU are a yoga teacher and why the heck were you judging in the first place (Oy, this may take a while). First, I'm still practicing, learning, practicing, learning. Second, I'm a human being and let's face it, we ALL judge, everyone, even YOU, the person reading this right now. But so what if we judge. What comes first and foremost as my own practice is discernment. I judge, then discern, then the judging wanes and opens to being compassionate. That's been my own path. I can see that I am judging and when I do this what gets cut off is love, self expression (my own), affinity, laughter, lightness, being, breath, all of it. But it's natural to judge so naturally we must notice this and move into a space of looking at where the judgement is coming from, what we are getting from it and what it's costing us.

Back to last night's Iyengar class. Where was the connection of posture with breathing? It didn't show up. "Open your chest by lifting your ribcage, tuck your tailbone in, suck in your stomach." I was dying to teach that breath will naturally move everything into alignment, how could he be missing this and more-so teaching this! 'Move my body into a dome?'-What the heck does that mean? 'Make my leg a square?'-Huh? Then when the teacher taught us to outstretch our arms from the socket by pulling our shoulder blades in, I have to say I killed him off, right then and there in that moment. But why?

I noticed myself being a statue of grey toned stoicism hiding all the thoughts, including 'externally rotating the shoulders at the joint is what holds the arms and shoulders in the socket so why are you teaching this way b/c it's wrong.' But again, not important b/c I was still portraying a grotesque Rodin-like statue, yogi in disguise, and that's not who I want to be.

In yoga and in our lives, what really is important here. Getting it right? Probably not. Teaching it correctly? I would say yes but then what is it to teach 'correctly?' So maybe not that either although it's still important. Being with breath, present, alive and inspired. Come on, totally yes.  At least for me it is. And maybe this is the yoga that I realize I want to teach?

I could understand that the teacher was doing his best, giving his all and only knows what he knows. So why should I judge silently pretending to be happy? Ok, I gave that up. I wasn't too happy in class last night. I allowed the cynicism to come out. I didn't like it. But I didn't hide it either, and that may have been the gold. To me I conceptually get that everyone and everything is my teacher if I am willing to be open to the lesson. Whethere I get the lesson or not is a different story. I was willing last night. I learned that when I allow myself to be true to myself, even if it's by showing resignation and cynicism, I will eventually move into a compassionate place. Eventually, it passed and I began to consider all the different styles and ways one can learn, practice and teach yoga. There are many, especially in New York. I began to see the teacher in a new light where I could be compassionate and a contribution to his class just by being present. And what came next was the best. I saw my deep commitment to teaching yoga and how I am at the next level of the journey as a new teacher and what I am sure to bump up against as a teacher.

Because if I was this way in this guy's class, someone is sure to be that way in mine. So how can I empower myself as a teacher and my students? How can I teach so everyone is taken care of? I'm not sure exactly, not just yet. Although, I'm stoked to teach this lineage and modify my own teaching practice to empower students with movement and breath with what inspires them and how they can remain more present and compassionate with themselves. Ready?

B~

June 23, 2010

What is this.

Yoga, god, enlightenment, breath, righteousness, prayer, postures, yoga, the west, India, religion, chanting, the way, which way, the right way, one way, no way, wayward, yoga, practice, guru, teacher, student, practice, yoga, teach, self, god, enlightenment, parents, child, prayer, questions, question, answers, answer, you.

What is yoga really about? Really!?

June 18, 2010

Didgerido-ing My Thing

Some of you may know that I have thrown myself into the magical world of playing the didgeridoo. Here's whats been going on. I went to Australia in 2000 to study printmaking. I bought a didgeridoo there. It was in Cairns (prounounced: Cans) that I purchased this didgeridoo. I ran into a man playing one of these didgeridoos for minutes on end. I was mesmerized watching him play and listening to the drones, crackles, twangs and buzzes flowing from the instrument. He stopped, looked up at me and said, "It's an amazing journey." That was pretty much it for me, I had to get one.

I learned different sounds, but ran into a blockade trying to understand this 'circular breathing' stuff. How do people breathe in AND out at the same time. I couldn't do it. I gave up and my didg' became an ornament for showing friends and impressing girls.

Fast forward to April, 2010. I am in Kauai, studying yoga, right,.. you guys know this. One of the girls in the training with me has this boyfriend named Jim who has a didgeridoo. And I don't know what it was about this guy, or this didg' or what, but something in me said, "it's time to play this instrument again." So, I bought one at the local music shop, a plastic version, painted in the traditional Aboriginal way of the dreamtime serpent. 

I practiced and practiced, the sounds came back to me. I expanded on more sounds. Still the circular breathing wasn't there, although I became committed to learning so I can fulfill on this dream I had of playing in the New York City subway system. I first became aware of this dream after I saw this, check it out. 

I left Hawaii still practicing. Practiced more at the Dharma Siddha Buddhist house in Berkeley, CA. They were happy I was playing. I was happy too, but I knew I had lots left to learn. I came back to New Jersey and watched countless circular breathing tutorials on YouTube, it still wasn't helping b/c I wasn't circular breathing, which basically means I can play well, but for only 15 or so seconds at a time, maybe. To circular breathe would mean I could go out into the streets and fulfill my dream and mission of playing in the subway and being a busking musician, an artist but only once I get this breathing technique.

When I was in Berkeley I met a woman who could play and circular breathe. She said it was all feeling. That wasn't good enough for me at the time though. I needed linear, concrete examples on how to breathe, move my cheeks, flicker my tongue. All of it. I also met a man at the same house I met this woman at and he was giving me all kinds of equations for breathing circularly. But that didn't help either. Was I ever going to get this!

Yes I was! I got it. I got it last friday night! And, I have to say the woman who taught me to just feel my way into it was right. It's a total feeling instrument and my teacher. And last friday night, one week ago right now, I was playing in the W4th subway station on the B,D,F,V Downtown and Brooklyn platform fulfilling a dream. How did it happen?


Didg'in da' subway from brandon waloff on Vimeo.


Earlier that night I was in my room around 8:45 playing, probably just going to stay in and drink a beer with Doug and Olivia when it just clicked. Just like that. I couldn't believe it. I was now ready to go play in the subway! And good thing for me b/c with my recent financial shortage I was planning to play the next day, even if I didn't get the breathing down. Perfect!

It was one of the most exhilarating experiences I have had in a while, different than Hawaii. This was me on my edge, as a man and I was SUPER ALIVE!  I made a few duckets but the best part was talking to a 10-year old girl and her mom as they gazed in curiosity.  

Since that night the interactions remain to be the best part of this whole new endeavor I have taken on. West 4th street, Broadway/Lafayette, Central Park (that was a free concert I gave to the people), Washington Sq. Park, Madison Sq. Park and Union Square have all seen me to this point. Coincidentally at the same time I have begun to teach yoga. I've played 6 times now in New York City and have taught yoga 3 times last week. Since playing I have met 3 yoga teachers also who want me to play with them in their class as well as some other juicy opportunities that have surfaced where I can play music.  

I feel I am living out of my heart and am completely in alignment with my passion right now. I want to create music. I want to develop this sound with inspiring mantra's and trance-like effects and play across the lands and be a yoga teacher and didgeridoo player for my students. You don't think I'm serious? Oh, I am. Just you wait. 

Throughout this past week I have felt more connected to yoga, to it's practice and how much of an honor it is to teach this lineage. How does the didgeridoo connect to yoga besides playing for classes? I am playing. Yoga is a practice that can loosen up the tightness of everyday living, lighten up our outlooks and enlighten our souls. Naturally playing didg' in the streets has come from lightening up and living day by day, listening to my heart, shutting up my head and remaining present to my dream. Yoga means union. Yup, that's how.

B~


June 15, 2010

Where does the time go? Nowhere=Now Here and Yoga.

Where does the time go? It doesn't go anywhere, we are and it is always 'now here'. Maybe the question is 'where do you go' when you realize time has 'flown' or 'passed by'?

Moving onto yoga. The physical postures are a small portion of what yoga actually is. The physical postures are just a way to continue the practice of yoga which can be summed up in Patanjali's Yoga Sutra's as 'the science of mastering yourself over your mind.'

What is there to master? How can you master the mind? Is it counter intuitive to attempt to overcome the mind?
The mind, in my opinion is a machine. It's like 'Hal' from 2001 you know? It gives you information even when you don't ask for it and can hijack any situation. It also obviously is useful and can work with us.

To master the mind is to throw out the garble and keep the gold, be present in the chaos and have the capacity to know and sink into your own stillness.

May 31, 2010

Teaching

I'm going to teach. I have to, really- I do. If I don't teach, I will never know. Many people have all kinds of trainings under their belt but are not teaching their gift. The magic can become lost, the tools dull. What you don't use, you lose. Going to bed one night recently I was wondering what others would think of this style of yoga that I am now trained in teaching. Key word: Teaching.

I was wondering how I would be as a teacher (already know I'm great). I was wondering if I would ever teach?
People have been asking me all over the place, "Where are teaching?" "Are you teaching yet?" All that jazz.

And I will be, I keep saying, or something like that.

So anyway, back to laying in bed one night. Actually, I was laying on floor. I was sleeping on the floor. Not for postural support or renunciation of material things b/c I'm this 'enlightened yogi' now. But b/c Bob, my sub-letter was still in my room. So there I was laying on floor in our common space area, Doug around the corner sleeping when it struck me, 'I have to teach now'.

This is my Karma Yoga, or service oriented gift that I must give back. To enable me to live more holistically I feel one must give and be in the process of giving. For me, I give money to the homeless as well as grant them my being too (thats not just some time, it's also giving them my attention). I give artists money, I give people food. I like to give.  This style of yoga is the next level. It requires my time to give.

I am into many things and have various projects I am embarking on now that I am 'back', wherever back is, I realize I must teach. To give, to be known in the world for continuing what others have seen me learn in Hawaii which for myself- strengthens my own foundation. And of course knowing those answers that I now ask myself in bed, or in floor.

If you would like a session please let me know, I would be happy and honored to teach you tools you can use for the rest of your life, to feel better, to be healthier, and to receive, because receiving is also just as powerful as giving when you can allow yourself.

May 26, 2010

Someone recently asked me what my most profound moment of yoga has been

 The most profound moment of my yoga practice, albeit there were many, would have to be the moment I realized that I was in fact, a yoga teacher. It wasn’t at my teacher training or after my training. It was at Burning Man in 2006. 


I was taking a class from this really great teacher named Joe who teaches somewhere in the Chelsea section of New York City. There must have been about 70 people in his class, under a tent in the desert. It was early, around 9am and we were set up in concentric circles going from the smallest circle in the center of the tent (with me in it-of about 6 people) outwards towards the largest circles at the back ends of the tent which linked roughly 20 or so people. I can’t really remember those details. What I do remember was that since it was outside and being the very expansive desert was hard to hear Joe as he walked around and taught. 


I noticed two things. One, that I was amazingly present and centered in my practice that morning. I hadn’t practiced in a few months up until that point and was surprised how open my body was. This leads me to the second point. I was smiling. Wide. And since I was having my own transformational experience in this class already being all open and present of sorts, I saw other people who couldn’t hear the teacher watching me for instruction. 


Besides radiating positive energy that morning, I profoundly got in my bones that I was a yoga teacher. All right inside that moment. It was just a matter of time from that point to the moment I chose to head to Kauai to teach.

May 18, 2010

Kauai WAS Fruity

I'm making some changes to this site over the next few days. Since I am now, back from the islands and in town, I have moved the 'Kauai Is Fruity' page and created it as an archived post. If you want to view any of these videos then go into the archives section on the side bar, and search for the post. It is posted on the 17th of April.

There you will be able to view the fruitastic videos I made while in Kauai. Mahalo for watching.

B~

May 16, 2010

Same River, Never Twice.

I am back. Aloha New Jersey. Although, as I drove into Jersey City taking in the Manhattan skyline early this morning around 1:15am, for the first time in, ohh,... 56 days. As I parked the car I will be driving all the way back to D.C. for my brother tomorrow, walked a few blocks to my apt, and as I and walked around in my apt. I could absolutely not deny the dualist feeling of never leaving in the first place and knowing I am not the same person who lived here almost two months ago.

It felt like I never left. Everything seemed the same. Except for the smell. Bad. That is the one difference so far. The air is not the same air in Kauai. I never noticed before I left?

The environment felt so familiar my mind began playing tricks on me. 


"It's still the same here, nothing has changed, you haven't changed, why did you ever leave, did you ever leave? I knew it, the whole thing was a dream."  


Blah, blah-blah-blah blah 
(thank you mind chatter for sharing).


So, there was all of that, AND, what I do notice already, right off the bat, is that I feel like I grew up. I already feel more connected and open, accepting and centered. A sure-fire result of leaving just to come back home and being more in my own skin, being more at home, not just in jersey city, but with myself. I think Being able to differentiate between the these two feelings and thoughts is gold, and I'm grateful for it.


Things feel similar and different. The things are similar, but I am different. And so the proverb, You can't step in the same river twice.  Super Mamish Mahalo.

May 14, 2010

Giving is Receiving

Revamping life. It's time for a change. If anything being away taught me, it's that being away is the best way to find my way. Of course I would want to be around communities and local sustainablity and connect more to my own passions and gifts that I have cultivated over the last 10 years of my life as an artist and a healer.

To get out of the NY/East Coast/NJ rut was the best medicine I could have ever asked for.  I'm ready to come back more connected and aligned to who I am and to what my heart is saying. Being in California was feel good. I worked with a lot of people on the YogAlign Method and even found myself leading a shot-gun style class at this raw food/superfood collective one night where raw pie and poetry was the theme.  And it felt good, not to try but to give, know what I mean?

Ah, the theme of this blog comes through. When I give my gift freely without trying to or being attached to doing so, my own expression comes through with more vibrance.

I have found this true before in the past as well. For instance, last week when I was sitting around talking to people about life and yoga and hawaii what naturally came was, "I can show you some stuff" and bc it was natural and in the conversation, the gift I offered was more readily able to be received- and thus received as I showed Alexander some neuromuscular breath work. He benefited from it but even if he didn't the experience for me was rewarding as I too received the gift of service. As they heal, we heal.  I wondered if I had come with the intention of working with people at the party, would it have come naturally as it did just by me wanting to help others and share? 

I always thought there was this rigid formulaic way to go about marketing and 'getting' clients as a practitioner, but what I keep noticing is that it's always a natural process for me and if anything I have been fighting my gift of spontaneity, charisma and connection with people.  I could easily be myself, go up to strangers and talk to them, I do all the time. And to then share with them my talents is what's next.

As a health counselor in the past when I tried to make things happen I rarely achieved success in that model. But I always noticed that when I was natural and in my own wanting to share what I know with others, openly and without expectation of a return, like money, I wound up being successful in the relationship, which could be the initial consult for bringing back clients who will pay.

There are many times when I see someone suffering or ailing on the street, that I just want to go up to them and give myself, without any expectation in return. I most of the time restrict that natural energy, thinking "that would be weird," and go about my life. But now I see it differently and as my recent travels have shown, I am more open to sharing and giving which excites me because when people ask, "are you going to teach when you return home," I say yes, but really don't want to force anything. I'm really just most interested in helping others and letting the energy flow as it does, and if it leads to clients and classes, etc. great. If not, then so what, I'll do and be where I'm guided.

What are your talents you share or don't share? Where have you noticed yourself in command through the energy of giving? What would be possible for you if you were present with yourself and your gifts? What would you receive? What could you give to others? What difference would that make for them?

May 06, 2010

Forgetting to Remember

Just had a healing session with Daniel and Alan, two amazing practitioners staying at the MahaSiddha house with us. In the session, I realized 'why am i spending my time organizing my days and being on a schedule when I really have nothing to do, at all!'

Then it came to me that, and I'll quote one of my favorite mind-bending movies, 'Waking Life' "What was missing was felt irretrievable, the extreme uncertainties of traveling without working made excess necessary and breaks definitive." In other words, if I don't try to get somewhere, the place where I'm supposed to be will be shown via my heart.

It takes a lot of energy to plan. And maybe I'm supposed to stay here in the bay area for a bit longer? Maybe not? What about the long term? One thing Hawaii has provided for me is the sense that everything is ok as it is. And, the love of playing music and sound has come through for me. I bought a didgeridoo in Kauai and have become immersed in it. I am committed to mastering the didgeridoo, and all that is coming to me is wanting to play it in the streets for people. Huh? Ok. This little heart of mine, I'm gonna let it shine, and follow that heart towards the blissful state that anyone can attain by doing so. 

The challenge; being courageous enough to walk the walk and step outside the expectations that I have adopted and downloaded from myself and others in my life. To live a true life is to go on through it without knowing where to go but still having an idea of what one wants, right?

This is where I'm heading with it, really, no kidding around. (click)

May 02, 2010

Mainlanding

I think I'll mainland it for a while, maybe a looong while? I arrived in California today and after 3 flights the most challanging aspect to my travels was no doubt the bus/train/bus/train/cab connection from San Jose-->Berkeley. Took me 4 hours to commute, but only $11. That's a big mahalo to the finance gods and a sure fire slowdownyourasana tenant.

And, apparently I brought the Hawaiian sun with me! It was easily in the 80's. Plus, I am completely and absolutely bringing the Aloha spirit with me as well. Big mamish mahalo to Darius and the Mahasiddha Buddhist home for hosting me. I am in exactly the place I am supposed to be. Totally clear.

Conscious like-minded people here openly sharing life and each others gifts. I was already invited to share Yogalign with the crew here. You guys are all amazing. Aloha spirit-stoked! It's time to be the teacher I know myself to be.

Although I must say that perhaps the most interesting feature of being back on the mainland (it's not the noise or grotesque, endless shopping) is that my back is peeling like a mutha'! When I was a kid I used to love it when I would get tan and peel. But I ain't seen nothin' like this before, check it out!

(granted the pic doesn't do complete justice)


Was it because my body knew I had left island and now the re-acclimation process has begun? Was it the countless hours on the 3 planes trying to sleep unsuccessfully while I squirmed against my seat? Or was it the mainland water from the mainland shower that I took today which sent signals to molt?  No matter, any which way I slice it, I'm mainlanding now.

May 01, 2010

Image and Feeling, Imagine the feeling.

Some images from my last hours in Kaua'i.


























Magic. Surrounds. Island.
Heart envelops the resounding
Pulse that the wind and rain generate
That, which nature draws from
That, which ocean holds
  That,
     Is,
        This...
      
                    ~ Kaua'i~

April 27, 2010

Right Now & Moving On~

4 days left in Kaua'i. Damn I'm gonna miss this place. People have said, "why don't you just stay?" I say, "I don't know, my home is in New York (or New Jersey)." Sure the air will be dirtier, the food not nearly as fresh, the people a little more aggravated and the pace A LOT FASTER. But, it's my home, so that's where I will be, for now.

Moving on, this blog will serve as a place to learn about alignment and yoga, and the humor and wonder of taking the philosophy of yoga (remember it's not just postures) out into the world with our people in our lives.

BUT, I promise you I will continue making videos of smoothies and fruits and foods that serve the yogic lifestyle of simplicity and wholeness, as well as other fun ones, just because. AND, I will be in California and Oregon until May 13th, so you will get to see more adventure and fun along the way, and hopefully some videos of me working with, I don't know, you!?

Let me know if YOU would like a session to check out the amazing benefits that YogAlign provides for feeling light and free in your body. It really is the bomb. We'll work out the details later.

Right now I am teaching a man for 4-days who has been a yogi for longer than I have been alive! He knows a lot, but what I am finding is that just because one practices yoga doesn't mean one doesn't have pain. It's amazing teaching Roberto, hopefully he will write in on this post and share. I'm almost in as much disbelief as he is witnessing his quads opening more than he has ever felt. Ever! Or seeing his face as he experiences his psoas (or hip flexors) opening up, he seems as though he is in shock! This work really does work, wow.

Mahalo for reading, B~